What goes on in an Islamic school? Who are the students and teachers? How do their curricula differ from other private and state schools? How much focus is there on religious instruction? Compass explores the stories of two Muslim schools to find out.
In brief, the curricula differs in that they get taught religion, and the school day begins with a prayer from the Koran. There is also the afternoon prayer session, the compulsory wearing of the hajib, separate playgrounds (and prayer rooms) for the boys and girls. Hmm, completely like a state school… NOT.
Whilst Islamic studies, which is compulsory, is only taught one to two hours per week (out of 30 hours) they get this for the full 13 years they are at school. Plus all those prayer sessions and teachers focusing learning with an Islamic twist or theme (whatever that is?), that sure adds up to a lot of religious
This quote made me go WTF!
It’s very important for the students to express their muslim identity because that’s who they are part of. They can’t escape who they are, … (emphasis mine)
Why can’t they escape being a Muslim? As someone else said, it’s like the old saying "Once a Catholic, always a Catholic". People, you have your own mind, you don’t have to follow old dogmas and traditions just because you were unlucky enough to be born and indoctrinated into them.
The Malek Fahd school is named after the late King Fahd of Saudi Arabia.
20 years ago, land for the school was bought with a one-off grant from the Saudi royal family.
They no longer receive any money from Saudi Arabia, but
state and Federal money makes up around 70% of the school’s budget….and that helps keep fees low.
How very generous of us taxpayers to fund religious indoctrination.
The show seemed somewhat contrived to me, like they were trying to show how wonderfully integrated into the Australian community the Muslims really are. But, there were no hard questions as to why they don’t really integrate by going to a secular public school. The bottom line is, these schools just foster the "muslim identity" and leave little room for the children to gain awareness of other religions or even the idea that having no religion is OK.
John from the Secular Party of Australia expressed it nicely:
No justification as to why encouraging sectarian religious identity and division is necessary, justified or socially beneficial.
This coming Sunday (14 Sep 08) Compass shows "A Christian Education". I guess this will be more of the same, this time Catholics instead of Muslims.